Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

  • Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching and learning that gives all students equal opportunity to succeed and helps them become expert learners. It offers flexibility in the ways students access material and show what they know. It respects that learners are motivated in unique ways. UDL is based on scientific insights into how humans learn.

Play the UDL at a Glance video from CAST (located in a box on the right-side). It provides a general overview of how UDL can help all students become expert learners: (Direct link)

View the complete CAST UDL Guidelines site for an easy to navigate interactive graphic with more details about each guideline.

Accessibility Features by Computing O/S Type

System Accessibility Guide Keyboard Shortcuts
Windows Windows 11 Windows Shortcuts
Mac/Apple Mac Accessibility Mac Shortcuts
Chromebook Chromebook Accessibility Chromebook Shortcuts
iPad/iPhone Accessibility for Mac O/S Apple Shortcuts Guide
Android Android Accessibility Help Accessibility Shortcuts
Google User guide to accessibility Chrome keyboard shortcuts


Visit the 21Things4Educators page ( for additional information.


Top 4 MagicSchool AI Tools for SpEd Teachers YouTube Video (5:29) shows a Diagnostic Assessment Generator, Text Leveler Tool, Assignment Scaffolder tool, Accommodation Suggestion Generator, 

Harnessing AI in Special Education is a series of 60 minute videos

  • Part 1 Introduction to Generative AI for Special Educators
  • Part 2 Using Generative AI for Planning. How to leverage GenAI tools for crafting lesson plans tailored to the diverse needs of students, including a hands-on segment on instructional planning with free GenAI tools.
    • Looks at Brainstorming, Differentiating Content, Increasing Usability and Modifying Existing Lesson Plans
  • Part 3 Using GenAI to Support the IEP Process
  • Part 4 Using Gen AI with Students


Chromebook Accessibility Tools

A 6 minute video by Andy Mann with a slideshow


Communication Accommodations

Not everyone communicates in the same way. Some people use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). AAC encompasses all of the ways someone may communicate other than verbal speech. It can be used to supplement and/or replace verbal speech and can be used at any age. A person may use different types of AAC, as we are all multimodal communicators. An AAC system means all of the tools of this type that a person uses. Below you will find the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s (ASHA) overview of what AAC is. You will also find a link to Project-Core. Project-core’s purpose is to empower teachers and classroom professionals to provide access to a core vocabulary based AAC system and communication instruction naturally throughout the school day. Additionally, Project-core aims to improve the academic achievement of students with significant disabilities through gains in their communication and literacy skills.

**If your student is struggling to communicate - please contact the speech therapist at your school**

Communication Accommodations/Resources


Possible Solution


Project Core


Augmentative and Alternative Communication AAC site


Translation in Google Docs

Translating a document in Google docs to a different language is a very easy option. Direct link to the video.


Translation with Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft translation features are found on the Review menu.
Review > Translate > Translate Document will open your document in a different window.
Translate selected text can be done when you select a passage of text, then Review > Translate > Translate Selection. If you want the translation inserted into your document, select Insert.


Strategies to accommodate executive functioning:

  • Break long assignments into chunks and assign time frames for completing each chunk
  • Use visual aids for modeling and organization
  • Timers, graphic organizers, and visual schedules to visually support time on task
  • Frequent checks for understanding
  • Simple instructions, step by step, with visuals
  • Use of visuals, notes, word banks, etc. to support memory
  • Separate or quiet setting for independent work and/or assessments
  • Use of alternate pencils, i.e., scribe, word processor, voice typing
  • Color-coding for organization and turning in completed work
  • Copies of teacher/peer notes
  • Assignments/assessments read aloud
  • Preferential seating to support vision, hearing, or attention
  • Extra time to complete assignments/reading
  • Brain breaks to support attention
  • Advance notice of transitions (visual and/or auditory)
  • Special seating, seat pads, ball chairs, etc. to support attention and stamina
  • Clear, concise directions with minimal use of open-ended questions or statements
  • Allow appropriate wait-time for student responses
  • Opportunities for meaningful movement
  • Use of study carrel for assignments/assessments
  • Assessments given in the morning to support stamina
  • Access to fidgets or other self-regulation supports
  • Assistive technology to support organization, memory, time management, self-regulation, attention, etc.
  • Grade only what is being assessed


Hearing Accommodations/Resources for Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing

Need Possible Solution
Closed Captioning in YouTube

Go to your Video Manager by clicking your account in the top right > Creator Studio > Video Manager > Videos.

Next to the video you want to add captions or subtitles to, click the drop-down menu next to the Edit button.

Select Subtitles and CC

Closed Captioning in MiStreamnet videos Select cc to show the subtitles
Sign Language Dictionary

Google Meet Closed captioning for Google Meet
Closed captioning & Translate For Hearing Impaired: YouTube videos
Speech-t0-text Speech-to-text Services.pdf
ASL ASL Sign Language Dictionary


Microsoft Immersive Reader (FREE)

Immersive Reader is a free tool that implements proven techniques to improve reading and writing for people, regardless of their age or ability. Immersive Reader can improve reading comprehension and increase fluency for English language learners. It can help build confidence for emerging readers learning to read at higher levels, and offer text decoding solutions for students with learning differences such as dyslexia.
It is available in Microsoft’s OneNote, Word, and the web version of Outlook. It is also available in Office Lens for iOS. Immersive Reader is integrated with Microsoft’s web browser, Microsoft Edge. The tools are included within the Microsoft 365 suite of apps. (Free Office 365 Education account)

Immersive Reader lets you:

  • Change font size, text spacing, and background color.
  • Split up words into syllables.
  • Highlight verbs, nouns, adjectives and sub-clauses.
  • Choose between two fonts optimized to help with reading.
  • Read out text aloud, and change the speed of reading.

Additional Immersive Reader Resources

Following are two videos by a 21t4s educator, one for adding the extension to Chrome, and the other with using it with Office 365.

Direct link to this video on MiStreamnet Eduvision (4:46)

Direct link to this video on MiStreamnet.eduvision (7:59)



"Students who lack fine motor abilities or gross motor arm control might be candidates to use Physical and Motor accessibility features of various platforms.  Examples of some users might include students who have Cerebral Palsy, students who have had a stroke and can no longer use one side of their body, or students who cannot isolate single fingers. When you enable the Physical and Motor accessibility features of a device you essentially change the way the device operates."

Chart of physical and motor accessibility by platform.

Motor Accommodations/Resources


Possible Solution


If student is struggling with use 2 buttons on mouse or is constantly struggling with the wheel



More complex motor needs


  • Consult with school occupational therapists or physical therapists


This is a short list of additional strategies and supports for ELL students:


Reading Accommodations/Resources


Possible Solution


Screen Reading


Adjusting the "level" of the text



Cleaning up the page (removing distractions) *some also can adjust the readibility of the text


  • Mercury Reader.

    Chrome Web Store link

    It is an excellent tool that works very much like Readability, doing a great job cleaning up a webpage for easy reading. You can install it through the Chrome Web Store with the link below.

  • Just Read

    Chrome Web Store link

    Simply click on the extension and the webpage automatically gets cleaned up. If you want to make any changes, you can click the paintbrush icon in the top right to adjust font size, text color, background color, and more. When done, just click the big “X” in to top right corner to go back to the original website.

  • Read&Write from texthelp
  • Snap&Read


This is an introduction (8 min video) to some tips and teaching strategies for a digital age classroom. A PDF document of this content is provided directly below the video that contains live links to the web resources mentioned in the video.

Direct link to this video.

The Teaching Strategies PDF with live links that goes with this video.

Additional Resources


Vision Accommodations/Resources


Possible Solution


Make everything larger


  • Windows and Linus: Press Ctrl and +
  • Mac: Press the command key and +
  • Chromebook: Press Ctrl and +


Make everything smaller


  • Windows and Linus: Press Ctrl and -
  • Mac: Press command and -
  • Chromebook: Press Ctrl and -


Use full-screen mode


  • Windows: Press F11
  • Mac: Press Command Ctrl and f
  • Chromebook: NA


Increase mouse cursor size


  • Chrome Browser: Accessibility Menu> Show large mouse cursor


Enlarge/increase contrast of keyboard keys